Apprentices and apprenticeship schemes are fast becoming the gateway for young people to enter the working world – enabling them to learn a trade whilst gaining valuable on-the-job experience and earning a wage.

Apprentices are a hot commodity – and before you start hiring them, here’s what you should know:

  • 1,000 businesses are now involved in designing the new apprentice standards
  • there are 1,500 different apprenticeships on offer in more than 170 industries
  • the government invested £1.5bn in apprenticeships in 2013 to 2014
  • businesses report an average increase in productivity by £214 a week when they hire apprentices

But just because other organisations are doing it, doesn’t mean that you should.  We look at some of the main arguments for employing apprentices and suggest you ask these questions in your own business before investing in an apprentice recruitment strategy.

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Arguably, one of the biggest potential benefits of implementing apprenticeships is the opportunity to build increasing levels of commitment within your workforce. Most apprentices are young school or college leavers who have opted to kick-start their career in favour of university – meaning they are increasingly engaged with organisations who invest in their training and development.

Research by Populus, found that 80% of employers admit to hiring apprentices as a way to improve retention – suggesting that apprentices feel loyal to the company which invested in them.


If you work in IT, Logistics, Construction or Care you might already be finding it tougher and tougher to recruit people with the skills you need to move your business forward.

Investing in an apprentice programme will not only allow you tackle this issue head on, but if managed correctly you will secure yourself a pipeline of skills long into the future. For example, NG Bailey have secured national awards for training more than 5,500 apprentices since 1932.

If on the other hand you are repeatedly looking for experienced hires, you may find that you are at the mercy of increasing salaries, recruitment costs and extended time to hire.  Ultimately these bottlenecks could impact your ability to grow your business.

Apprentices can provide fresh ideas for your organisation

Apprentices can provide fresh ideas for your organisation


Apprentices may not have any actual workplace experience, but can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas – which should not be discounted as they are just as valuable to a growing business.

An article recently published by Recruiter highlights that apprentices contribute from the very beginning, due to a combination of attitude and innate digital ability. Businesses can then use this knowledge to build competitive advantage.


The cost of funding an apprentice may put some employers off, but in reality, apprentices often pay for themselves within a few years and can improve a company’s bottom line by boosting productivity and creating more efficiency.

For example, the initial outlay of hiring an apprentice is often smaller than many companies think – thanks to Government funding and the fact that they are paid a reduced wage. A study by the UK Commission on Employment finds that 88% of employers feel apprenticeships are cost-effective way to train staff.

With the Government focused on seeing 3 million Apprentices in 2020, all employers will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset costs against the Apprentice Levy – effectively, the levy will be paid by businesses earning in excess of £3 million per year.

Apprenticeships also make a contribution to the wider economy, with data from the National Audit Office showing that every £1 spent on Apprentices already pays back £18 to the economy. With so many short and long-term benefits to hiring an apprentice, maybe it’s time for you to hire one and realise the advantages for your own company.

Are you looking to recruit apprentices for your business? Click here to see what Cohesion can do for you. 

graduate recruitment partner

Why work with a graduate recruitment partner?

Working with a graduate recruitment partner can be a great solution for attracting high calibre graduates.

After all, the entire process of attracting, recruiting and retaining top graduate talent is more important than ever before due to the high mobility of the graduate workforce and rising competition for top talent. Because of this, you need to find the best Graduate Recruitment Partner for your company.

Deciding to engage in external help from a graduate recruitment services partner to attract and retain the best is a big step – and one which should be carefully thought out. Here are a few questions to answer when searching for your graduate recruitment and development partner:

Download our e-book for more tips and information on future-proofing graduate recruitment!

1. Does the company understand your business?

Sector experience can make or break a partnership with a recruiter. Understanding the market your company is in and identifying what to look, listen and test for can be the difference between delivering average and outstanding candidates to assess.

Take the time to find out about their experience in your sector – what can they offer to help you find the best fit based on knowledge, skills and experience?

If they don’t have direct experience, how have they effectively screened and delivered candidates for their other clients? Case studies and consultations can be a useful way to do this objectively.

Additionally, it is also important to highlight how willing the company is to get to know your business. Graduate recruiters should always take the time to meet you at your office and visit key sites or locations – not only to understand the business, but to experience first-hand the environment in which the candidate will be working.

2. Can you see a long-term partnership with the company?

Often a long-term solution to hiring future talent, graduate recruitment campaigns are rarely a one-off occurrence. What is built one year, can help you the next year.

Finding a company with which you can build a relationship with could make all the difference in the strides your company makes towards recruiting the best talent and establishing your business as a great graduate employer.

Building upon the knowledge gained in the previous year can be great to achieve efficiency in future months and years – the recruitment provider you work with will know exactly who you are searching for and therefore more able to send the best suited candidates from previous campaigns and feedback.

That being said, success rate is an important factor but there are also other factors to consider: were you happy with the service? Did the team meet your expectations? Were they personable, reliable and prompt with communication?

Determining your working fit in advance can be achieved by reviewing the processes the recruitment provider would follow to find the right fit for your business.

graduate recruitment partner


3. How much involvement do you want?

Agreeing how you would like to work can help you to define processes and curb any unrealistic expectations – would you prefer to have more or less involvement throughout the process? Do you want to shortlist suitable candidates or see their applications? Does this recruitment solution match your internal processes?

Building relationships with key individuals is important. Will you have a singular point of contact or be provided with a project manager?

Adaptability and agility is key for a recruitment relationship to bloom and succeed – having a strong relationship with your project manager can help the project to run smoothly overall.

Having one partner who can deliver attraction, candidate engagement and on-boarding strategies provides increased efficiency, helping to ensure you can bring the best graduate to boost your stance in the market.

Are you looking for a graduate recruitment partner? Click here to find out what Cohesion can do for you. 

4. Does the company strengthen your brand?

Working with a graduate recruitment partner is no easy feat – it is important to remember that they will be acting as an extension of your brand.

Representing your business, your graduate recruitment partner, whoever you choose will be managing the candidate experience on your behalf. For many, this will be the first point of contact graduates have had with your organisation so it is important to look for a company that is able to portray and uphold your brand.

When searching for a graduate recruitment provider, your organisation must consider the reputation of the company, the kind of feedback they have had from both clients and candidates and how they would help you to achieve your organisational goals.

graduate recruitment partner

 5. Do they have the appropriate technical capabilities?

Your graduate recruitment partner should take the time to understand the issues you seem to be having – whether this is with attraction strategies, shortlisting suitable applicants or conducting effective assessment centres – it could very well be all three!

By recognising the shortcomings of your current recruitment process for graduates, your graduate recruitment partner should possess the knowledge to consult your organisation along with the ability to advise and implement a solution tailored to your needs.

For example, can they advise on appropriate testing, devise and build your assessment centres or understand which video interviewing platform (if any) is most suitable to your requirements?

Choosing a graduate recruitment partner is a big risk to take and a big decision to make. But, your organisation must feel 100% confident in their ability to portray your brand and values in a strong and compelling way. Communication must be open and transparent in order to discuss any concerns to be resolved immediately.

talent attraction strategy

What is a Talent Attraction Strategy?

Talent attraction strategies are a hot topic right now, since demand for talent is higher than ever – and companies are reinventing their outreach to recruit and retain the right talent for their organisation.

Job seekers, passive or active, are motivated by various different factors and it’s up to businesses to understand their incentives to create an effective talent attraction strategy. This should not only entice candidates to apply but encourage them to actively engage in the recruitment process and if successful, become a long-term employee.


Download our e-book for more tips on running the best recruitment campaign ever!

Salary, work environment and location are all different factors individuals generally consider when they are looking for a new role or are approached about a new opportunity. Could you use this information to create an efficient talent attraction strategy?


      • 59% of candidates in the job market search for opportunities online – Indeed is the number one source of external hires for thousands of companies.
      • 68% of the Labour force in the UK are actively searching or are open to a new job
      • 65% of people worldwide search for new job opportunities within 91 days of being hired


Recruiters might actively search for candidates who meet their requirements, however, from a recent survey conducted it has been found that candidates are increasingly confident in opportunities and roles they have found themselves.

76% are more successful when they have found their own role due to their own motivations and interest in working for the company.

talent attraction


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is often referred to as a motivational theory for existing employees, but what if we applied this to potential applicants?


If a business caters to the physiological needs through a pay rate which enables an individual to pay bills, provide food and shelter for their family, a job opportunity becomes a viable option for a candidate.


But what if we built upon this basic need? Most potential applicants are enticed by job opportunities which reflect clear career progression, as this demonstrates a level of job security.

As a candidate applying for a vacancy, it’s comforting to know that you are an investment for the company you are applying for and thus, if you perform well and business needs permit, there’s a chance you could be promoted.


Building a strong work-life balance is critical for many employees. Maslow’s third need is social – if successful in the recruitment process, will applicants be working at hours which are suitable for their personal commitments?


The next thing for applicants to consider is whether they would enjoy the role: does their past experience reflect the requirements for this job?

If so, will this opportunity give them the professional confidence to feel motivated and happy in their role but also, a platform for further development?


And finally, understanding the way in which your job vacancy can help potential candidates to achieve their hopes and ambitions is important when submitting an application form.

This has been reviewed to be the most important factor for consideration – particularly important and relevant for long-standing employees.



Understanding the five key elements of talent attraction is great – but how will you use this to create a complete attraction strategy to ensure you can reach, engage and retain talent for your organisation?

Are you thinking about attracting talent for your business? Click here to find out how Cohesion can help you.